EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Former Evansville star and Utah Jazz legend Jerry Sloan passed away Friday morning due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia at the age of 78.
Sloan led UE to to a 76-9 record. The 3-time College Division 1st Team All-American was recognized as one of the best in the country, earning Chuck Taylor Converse 1st Team All-America honors and Sporting News Second Team in 1965. Both awards encompassed all college divisions.
A 2009 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Sloan spent 23 seasons as the head coach of the Jazz (1988-2011), finishing his career with the third most wins in NBA history. Sloan was a star at the University of Evansville (1962-1964) and was selected 19th in the 1964 NBA Draft by the Baltimore Bullets. He also took over head coaching duties for the Purple Aces for a short time in 1976.
The Utah Jazz issued the following statements Friday morning:
“Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz. He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organization and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss. We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise.
“Our Hall of Fame coach for 23 years, Jerry had a tremendous impact on the Jazz franchise as expressed by his banner hanging in the arena rafters. His 1,223 Jazz coaching wins, 20 trips to the NBA Playoffs and two NBA Finals appearances are remarkable achievements. His hard-nosed approach only made him more beloved. Even after his retirement, his presence at Jazz games always brought a roaring response from the crowd.
“Like Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomized the organization. He will be greatly missed. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Tammy, the entire Sloan family and all who knew and loved him.”
Sloan was a native of McLeansboro, Illinois.
(This story was originally published on May 22, 2020)